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Paige Waehner

Exercise of the Week: Side Lunges with Upright Rows

By February 12, 2013

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This is one of my favorite compound exercises, combining a side lunge for the glutes and inner thighs and an upright row for the shoulders. Not only is this move functional, moving the body through a variety of movements, but it's also a timesaver and perfect for those days when you want to work but don't have a lot of time.

The main area to focus on here is with the side lunge, which is a bit of an awkward exercise that often invites bad form. The key with the move is to, first, keep it slow. As you step out to the side, pause for a moment as you settle into the lunge and make sure your hips are back, the weight is in your heels and that your front knee isn't taking the brunt of the movement. The other leg should be straight and you may even get a stretch in the inner thigh if you lunge low enough.

I would start with a lighter weight here, just to get a feel for the movement. This move is great in any total body strength routine or as part of a circuit.

Do it right: Start with feet together, weights in hand, and step out to the right into a side lunge. The left leg should be straight, right knee bent with the hips back, both feet pointing forward. Push through the right heel to stand up and do an upright row. Lower the weights and do the side lunge on the left side, repeating the entire series for 1-3 sets of 8-16 reps.

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